Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Christopher Levy and Sarah Riggs-Shute.
Zero years before the Battle of Yavin (35:3:10) in the Brentaal system: Brentaal IV (Votrad: Benjamin Nam'a'taht's estate), Darkened Oblivion, and Warspite.
Major Kerrie Kiley, Lord Benjamin Nam'a'taht, Inquisitor Serine Thanor, and Flight Lieutenant Randi Trainor.

In the hangar bay of the mighty Star Destroyer Warspite Major Kerrie Kiley strode confidently towards the Lambda-class T-4a shuttle Sonthi. From time-to-time she would be assigned on missions that were rarely spoken of, visiting with members of the local government on behalf of the Admiral in secret. She was a less visible presence than the old man and was often able to slip in and out of government offices without much notice. Since the destruction of the Imperial garrison, certain members of Brentaal IV's noble houses had lessened their support and it was time for another such meeting. There was no uniform for a mission of this nature, instead she was wearing the dark colored armor of the ancient order of Mabari warrior-knights from her homeworld of Zolan. She detested politics and preferred to solve problems of this kind with assassinations, but the Admiral had her on a leash that prevented her from employing her preferred methodology.

The mission to the planet's surface was not as secret as Kerrie might have thought. There was one other that knew, Allegra, and she had the pleasure to informing Inquisitor Thanor. Their relationship was a rather peculiar one, Allegra was particularly drawn to power and Serine desperately needed detailed information, thus the two actually complimented each other rather well. Serine was intrigued with this mission, and since the Admiral refused to keep her informed, it was time to take matters into her own hands and finally work towards real progress. "Major Kiley." The Inquisitor's voice rang out in the hangar bay with purpose which demanded attention as Serine approached the other. "Let us talk for a moment." Said as she motioned the other to join her for a brief walk towards a less occupied location.

Kerrie stopped dead in her tracks as she heard the chilling voice of the Inquisitor. As her back was turned to her, she felt comfortable rolling her eyes before she slowly turned to face her newfound rival. "Inquisitor," she said using a faux excited tone, a painfully fake smile forcing itself onto her mimicked Human face. She took a step away from her starfighter, moving closer towards the Inquisitor. As she stood before her, her arms raised slowly as she folded them in front of her armor-covered chest. Tilting her head slightly to the left she narrowed her gaze at her. "Now would not be the ideal time for a stop and chat," she arrogantly pointed out as she let out a preoccupied sigh.

There was no doubt that the two had shared some interesting confrontations which caused an explosion of debate and rumors throughout the ship... some of them rather... tacky. But some of them were actually close to the truth, Serine viewed Kerrie little more than an annoyance, but she respected her courage as they had recently been elevated to rivals." You have plenty of time to stop and chat, Major." Said in a sharp matter-of-fact tone before continuing. "Because I am relieving you of your mission... now." Kerrie might have had a lot of cocky words to say during their time in the gymnasium when she was off duty, but the hard bitter truth was that Serine had the rank and the power here, right now... the Major had little choice but to follow her orders by a superior officer. There was a soft smile of superiority that Serine purposely hinted to the other.

Kerrie stood silently as she heard the Inquisitor issue her orders. Subconsciously, her right, glove-covered hand curled into an angry, clenched fist, but she took no offensive action. There was silence on her part for several moments, well aware of her place in the great scheme of things. Though inwardly insulted, she allowed no such bitterness or resentment crawl its way onto her face. "Yes, Milady," were the only words that found their way from between her lips, though she had several choice words within her mind.

Lieutenant Randi Trainor had received word to proceed to the hangar bay, but as was the case she was not provided with any of the necessary details. Already a few moments late, the skillful, but clumsy pilot, approached the two powerful women, feeling quite small in their presence. "Now listen ladies. If you wanna fight take it back to the gym. You bust up any of these ships and I gotta spend hours fixing them," she commented with a bright-eyed smile as she stepped between the two. "Now which one of ya am I flying somewhere?" she asked as her eyes darted between the two. "I'm tellin' ya right now ... orders or no orders only one of ya is getting on my ship at the same time," she pointed out with a soft laugh, visually terrified of them two destroying the ship from within as she piloted the ship through space.

It was almost humorous that it was perceived by the majority that the Major and the Inquisitor would start fighting everywhere they were together. Serine was about to say something more but Randi nearly jumped between them like she was preventing a brawl from erupting. "Lieutenant, you will be piloting me to Brentaal IV. Please prepare my ship for departure." Said almost annoyed as she eyed Randi a bit darkly, a hint for her to move aside quickly as she still had a few things to discuss with the Major.

Randi bowed her head obediently to the Inquisitor, offering a polite, reassuring smile to Kerrie. If she was going to be the last person the Major saw alive she thought she had at least deserved a smile. Without saying a word she hurried across the hangar to the Darkened Oblivion, to prepare it for their journey to the surface. Not exactly thrilled with the prospect as Imperials on the surface of Brentaal IV seemed to have life expectancies shorter than the local insect populations.

Once Randi was well away, Serine would slowly gaze back towards Kerrie, now confident that their conversation would go unheard and uninterrupted. The Inquisitor wasted no time with the first perk she was so inclined to speak as dark eyes passed over the Major. "I'm pleased to see Doctor Tohan managed to repair you after such unsightly damage." It was no doubt what the Inquisitor was referring to, Kerrie's brutal punishment after a fight both of them shared at the gymnasium but a week prior. With that comment now out of her system, Serine continued on with this little talk's purpose. "It is safe to presume that you share my sentiments regarding our dislike for each other. I find you nothing more than a hollow shell of a woman, subservient and broken in such a way that no doctor could fix, with little will of your own. However, you have a courage that I rarely see and an equal combat desire to my own, in which I can appreciate. Despite the unnecessary attention our recent little... spar attracted, I found the experience... rather rewarding. Thus, I am offering you a chance to redeem your near-loss at a location that would be private where we could settle things unhindered." Serine's suggestion was unprecedented, but she was serious as she felt their fight was halted too soon for a clear victor, though she made it clear that it would have been Kerrie's lost if they had continued. But perhaps the Inquisitor also felt the Major would be a very suitable sparring partner... if not for their hatred for one another.

Kerrie's face began to redden, her blood pressure soaring like a thranta as she listened to the Inquisitor's words. Slowly her face began to tremble as her jaw clenched, remaining obediently silent. The vein in her forehead began to pulsate as she was spoken to a manner she was not accustomed to. "Name your ground," was all the woman said as her mouth finally opened, her words coldly quiet, devoid of any of the anger that was clearly visible in every facial twitch. While she was indeed a shell of her former self, she still had confidence in her abilities and believed she could accomplish any task set before her. She believed had the Inquisitor not used the Force and others had not interfered she would have ultimately triumphed in their now legendary clash.

Eyebrows perked up as she witnessed the Major mustering all of her strength to not erupt into fury. Serine was rather impressed Kerrie managed to control herself. "Then we are at an agreement, I will keep you informed of my decision." Inquisitor Thanor then abruptly turned from the Major to head towards her ship, purposely not naming a time or place yet as she rather enjoyed seeing the other woman flustered beyond belief. There was a bit of a brisk walk suddenly that was unintended due to her momentary victory and... excitement. Serine actually looked forward to another fight with Kerrie... something about the idea of brutally punishing her again, as if she actually loved to hate that woman. "Lieutenant! Prepare to depart." Nearly barked, Serine was all riled up after her chat with Kerrie and this mission was going to get her full enthusiasm.

"Did ya kill her?" Randi asked as her hands moved quickly across the control panel of the assault ship. She could not help but turn to look over her shoulder to check for signs of the Major's blood splattered across Serine's armorweave. Her hands then moved towards the controls, lifting the ship off the flight deck with a sudden lurch that caused the entire ship to shake. "Strap in!" she shouted as her hand moved towards the throttle, an instant later her hand slid forward and the craft began to dangerously accelerate within the confines of the hangar bay. "Gaah," she exclaimed as she was still getting a feel for the controls, narrowly avoiding overshooting the opening into space. Twitching slightly, she guided the ship out of the Star Destroyer's hangar and maneuvered the controls to point the craft at the nearby planet Brentaal IV.

"Come now Randi, we are mature grown woman, we can discuss matters without bloodshed." It was evident that Serine felt rather comfortable around the other, as she called her by her first name along with a more natural, less formal choice of words. The moment the Inquisitor fully got on board, the ship lurched forwards before she had a chance to strap in as Randi suggested, causing her to sprawl over upon the floor clumsily, her body clanging upon the metal painfully. "At least wait for me to sit down!" She yelled angrily as she crawled towards the seat to pull herself up. With an audible huff, Serine strapped herself in finally and mentally prepared herself for the unofficial meeting with Benjamin Nam'a'taht.

The sprawling estate of Lord Benjamin Nam'a'taht was situated in the port city of Votrad in close proximity to the offices of his shipping company. The wealthy and influential member of Brentaal's society was at first an outspoken proponent of the Galactic Empire's intervention on Brentaal, in no small part to his shared nobility with Admiral Rodney. However, as of late he had begun to waver in his support, inspired by recent Rebel breakthroughs and discouraged by the roundups and disappearances among the critics of the Imperial garrison. He was expecting to once again meet with Major Kerrie Kiley, the Admiral's lap dog, who he had long since learned to handle. Having already poured himself a glass of Alderaan Ruge, a case of which he received as a gift from the Admiral, he had already settled into a large, ornately upholstered large back chair to comfortably wait.

Nam'a'taht was no doubt going to be set for a rude awakening, as his apparent easy meeting with Kerrie would turn into an unexpected near-death walk with the Inquisitor.  After a few moments of peaceful silence, there would be a stir of commotion on the other side of the double doors leading onto the lounge where Lord Benjamin was currently relaxing. The muffled sounds were hard to make out, but it seemed as though someone was abruptly demanding access to see Nam'a'taht but was being denied. A few shouts of horrid surprise and suddenly a mangled body of the guard would shatter through those twin highly decorated wooden doors causing splinters to shower the area. The body continued to soar through the air to collide halfway into the wall with a sickening crunch.  Blood freely poured from the nearly deformed corpse to ooze down the wall. Inquisitor Thanor stepped through the destroyed doorway, glaring intensely at the other man. "Lord Nam'a'taht I presume, I will be negotiating your terms in Major Kiley's place."

Nam'a'taht' quietly observed the demise of one of his faithful, yet incompetent guards. He rose from his chair swiftly, moving slightly towards the corpse. His eyes rolled down at it slowly, observing the blood pooling on his newly refinished hardwood floors. "Pity," he said in a rather dry manner, speaking of the stain rather than the loss of life. His attention then shifted towards the Inquisitor, taking a soft sip of his Alderaan Ruge as he moved over towards the crackling fireplace. The light shimmered off his face as he moved forward to lean against the mantle, wondering perhaps if she had been sent to execute him. "How unfortunate. I did so love the little chats with the Major..." the nobleman quipped as he took another sip of the drink, avoiding eye contact as if it would instantly result in his death.

Curious, the other man seemed... rather intriguing, picking up instantly his dry tone and his lack of remorse for his guard's death. "Indeed, which is why I decided to fill in for her. My name is Serine Thanor, 'active' member of the Inquisitorous." The foreboding tone was enough to get her point across, despite what she had just said, there would be no 'negotiating'. Either he cooperated, or she removed him from power permanently. Stepping over some shattered wood, Serine advanced towards one of the chairs to lower herself comfortably into, as she crossed her legs rather informally, not at all phased with the new decoration hanging from the wall. "The Empire is not at all pleased with the current state of affairs, Lord Nam'a'taht."

"That door was crafted centuries ago by skilled artisans in the service of my family and in an instant, without giving so much as a thought, you destroyed it ... simply because it was in your way," Nam'a'taht' quietly and calmly explained to her. Shaking the liquid in his snifter, he heated it with his palm to take another, soft sip. "I would say that is an excellent metaphor to describe the current state of affairs, Inquisitor..." he said with a slight nod of his head, moving away from the fireplace to stride across the open expanse of the room to preoccupy himself with adjusting one of the statues on an end table.

"You are elegantly oversimplifying things, but if you wish to speak with those types of thoughts in mind, your guard now repainting the room a nice shade of crimson would represent those that ignorantly refuse a higher power." She could already tell this man was crafty, and since she believed Kerrie to be a pushover in terms of intellect, Serine had no trouble seeing how the Major would be walked all over by the noble. "My intentions here are simple and direct, perhaps you could appreciate them. I did not plan to murder one of your men, nor do I have any desire to also remove you. I want to know your stance on the current conflict and how operations can return to optimal. This planet is under the direct eye of the Empire because of the recent... problems."

"While I do not claim to be an expert on military strategy..." Nam'a'taht paused, walking directly in front of her as his eyes slowly wandered down her long, slender frame. More attractive than the Major at least, he thought silently to himself as a hint of a smirk curled upon his middle-aged slightly chapped lips. "I do know a defeat when I see one. And you, Inquisitor, are on the losing side up to this point," he boldly commented as he finished the drink, carelessly leaving the glass to rest on a book case. A servant would get to it later. "A handful of 'rabble' has managed to set the entire region into upheaval," he correctly pointed out, the destruction of the Cormond garrison only one of a series of Imperial setbacks. "If I stick my neck out in support of your cause ... I shall be left with a bloody stump above my shoulders," he commented, grimly shaking his head at her with a slight snort.

What... peculiar characters she has met so far... rather rash too, as if she did not notice the other man unashamedly check her out right in front of her. Serine was embarrassed, for him! And he called himself a noble, perhaps a classless one, who assumed too much and didn't deserve the power he was given. As he spoke, she felt he really wasn't hearing the dribble that was coming out of his own mouth. Perhaps he didn't notice the body hanging half-way out of his wall, still bleeding as he talked about his fear of his head being removed by supporters of the Rebellion. The Inquisitor purposely ignored everything he said because it did not mean anything to her coming from a man that knew too little and expected too much. "Lord Nam'a'taht, I am honestly having a difficult time taking you seriously after listening to you talk for only a few moments. I find you completely incapable of any sort of leadership position, and if it were not for you being born right into nobility, your classless attitude would see you no further than living in a sewage gutter begging for a few credits to purchase deathsticks to feed your addiction. You seem to have no sense of reality or reason to your remarks, and because of that, I am appalled. But I do have to thank you, as your mannerisms only fuel the notion on why an over-governing body is so important, to prevent planets from being destroyed by incompetent fools such as yourself."

Nam'a'taht shook his head at her comments, finding them the product of a weak, impatient mind. Exactly the reason he believed the Galactic Empire was experiencing setbacks in the region. "You are a guest in my estate, Inquisitor. You should bare that in mind," he said to her, his head turning to look her directly in the eyes as his voice took on a stern tone. "...and you are also a guest on my planet. That, too, you should bare in mind," he added as he attempted to educate her on the way things were done here. "You will get nowhere with me, or my people, unless you respect our ways," he explained to her as he moved back to the comfort and the warmth of the fire.

Interesting... this meeting was not exactly what she had expected, perhaps she should rethink her strategy. Serine felt that no progress was being made here and that was never good. This man didn't seem phased by threats... or even a body 'still bleeding' in his room. That should be commended actually. "Though I find you lacking what I consider any sort of 'nobility', that does not mean I do not respect your resolve. I can be reasonable, express your concerns with the current state of affairs. I can consider them and perhaps we can come to some sort of agreement."

Nam'a'taht let out a soft chuckle as he moved towards a small chair that was neatly positioned near the fire. "My dear, Inquisitor..." he began as he crossed his right leg over his left, folding his hands in his lap. "My concern over the current state affairs can be best summed with simple mathematics that even a young child could understand!" he said, his voice losing its composure as his voice began to raise in its level of outward frustration. "More Imperials are being killed than Rebels," he stated bluntly as he shook his head at her. "I cannot throw on a suit of armor and kill them for you. Why not kill some of them instead of my servants..." he commented as his eyes moved to the growing pool of dark blood all over his Kriin-wood floor. He sighed softly, rolling his eyes.

"Perhaps I have, perhaps my hands were at one time covered in the blood of those terrorists. Would knowing that please you? Just my presence in this sector should indicate that there are some serious issues that need fixing, that is my true purpose here. How can I express to you enough that I actually agree with your frustration? If your answer was that simple, I would have arranged a fruit basket with your name in it as a heart-filled generosity gift." She uncrossed her legs before standing up slowly, now content with the answers she needed. "I assure you that I am personally involved. If removing the rebel threat will truly and completely turn you from your troubles, then so be it. The purging has already began."

Nam'a'taht turned his glance away from the Inquisitor, peering intently to the dimly glowing remnants of the once roaring fire. "I look forward to seeing results of your presence, Inquisitor," the man said quietly as he considered pouring himself a second glass of the Alderaan Ruge. As she moved through the broken remnants of the door a smirk curled upon his lips and he suddenly turned his face to look at her shrinking presence. "Oh ... and Inquisitor," he began with a louder voice so that she could easily here him. "...give my love to Major Kiley," he could not resist adding as he began to wait patient for a cleaning crew.

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